revealnewsCh. 19: Life on the outside radically changed after #badpleadeals by @antoinegoldet
Fitting in outside the apartment was tough. Rodney Roberts had grown up in this Newark, New Jersey, neighborhood, but two decades had transformed it from the one he remembered as a 29-year-old.
. “No one talks, no one communicates anymore,” he says. “So many social etiquettes we held dear in the community have been abandoned.” He was shocked to notice how few people would abandon their fixation on their cellphones to offer their seat to an old woman on the bus.
Prison itself, and the time there, had transformed Roberts, too.
. “I don’t have the desire to wanna prove myself anymore,” he says.
Roberts, now 50, sees his son regularly. The boy he used to call “Little Rodney” grew up, cared for by his mother and uncle. Rodney Hudson Roberts Jr. is 6-foot-4, towering over the dad who once worked two jobs to cover their rent.
. “I’m glad that it didn’t ruin his life or affect him any further than it did, you know?” Rodney Jr. says.
One of Roberts’ closest relationships did not survive his incarceration. He last saw his father in 2013, when he was allowed to leave the sexual treatment unit accompanied by guards. By the time he got to Saint Barnabas Medical Center, his father was on respiratory support, unconscious.
When Roberts talks about the police who arrested him, the public defenders who failed to prove his innocence or the judge who kept him locked up for years, no sign of resentment crosses his still-boyish face. Instead, to Roberts, the system as a whole – not its foot soldiers – is the guilty party.
. “Over the years, it started to become less and less about me and them,” he says.
- tanishascotthamRoberts is such a resilient person. His story is really remarkable. Thank you, @revealnews for bringing this serial presentation to the public.
Log in to like or comment.